Irvine Valley's baseball team, which was ranked No. 5 in Southern California in the most recent California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Poll, came in at No. 11 in the first 2019 California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) State Top 20 Baseball Rankings.
The rankings were released on Tuesday.
No. 1 Orange Coast College tops a remarkable seven teams from the Orange Empire Conference in the top 17 of the poll.
Orange Coast received 14 of 16 first-place votes while No. 4 Sierra picked up the other two.
The Pirates had won five straight games entering this week, three in a row to open OEC play thanks to a sweep of its three-game series over current No. 7-ranked Cypress.
The OEC representation on the top 20 also includes No. 6 Riverside City, No. 11 Irvine Valley, No. 12 Saddleback, No. 16 Golden West, and No. 17 Santa Ana. Only under.-500 Fullerton didn't make the cut from the eight-team conference.
Orange Coast has won six state titles in its history, the first in 1956 and the last in 2015 when it completed back-to-back championship runs.
Irvine Valley entered this week with a record of 15-4-1 overall and 1-2 in conference after three hard-fought conference games against Santa Ana. IVC came away with just one win in the series, but each game was decided by one run.
The Lasers play a three-game series with No. 1 Orange Coast this week. IVC hosts games on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m.
At No. 2 and the North's top team is defending state champion San Joaquin Delta. The Mustangs have created the third-most runs in the state thus far helped by a state-leading 57 stolen bases and the second-highest doubles output with 46. The Big 8 Conference is represented well on the top 20 with six teams including No. 8 Cosumnes River, No. 13 Sacramento City, No. 14 Santa Rosa Junior College and No. 18 Modesto.
Sierra is the state's top offense at 10 runs scored per game and a state No. 2 slugging percentage, but were swept in a Big 8-opening series by Sacramento, who limited the Wolverines to only 11 runs in the three games.
While the OEC and Big 8 dominate the first rankings, the South Coast Conference placed two in the top 10 in No. 3 El Camino, owning the state's best ERA at 1.93, and Chaffey at No. 9. Golden Valley Conference leader and fifth-ranked Feather River has collected the most victories in the state thus far with 18. Mission, boasting the state's highest batting average at .336, snuck into the top 10 at #10 from the Coast Golden Gate.
An impressive eight teams that were not ranked in last year's final top 20 have joined this year's rankings led by eighth-ranked Cosumnes River, the surprising early leader in the Big 8 race.
Others making the initial rankings were Ohlone at No. 15, Pasadena City at No. 19, and Cabrillo at No. 20. The split in regions was an even 10 from the South and 10 from the North.
The rankings expect to fluctuate in the bottom half of the ratings with such teams receiving strong point counts as Cuesta, Fresno City, Palomar (last year's No. 15), Butte, and College of San Mateo (No. 14 a year ago) all within striking distance of the last spot.
Current State Longest Win Streak: 7 by both No. 5 Feather River and unrated San Diego Mesa.
State Current Batting Average Leader: Benjamin Prentiss, Gavilan, .475
State Current Top Pitching ERA Leader: Kobby Lopez, San Diego Mesa, 0.00 (22 innings)
State Baseball Standings
Conference Winning Percentage Leaders as of March 12
Bay Valley: unranked Yuba at .500
Big 8: #8 Cosumnes River at .778
Central Valley: unranked Merced at .605
Coast Golden Gate: #10 Mission at .765
Coast Pacific: #15 Ohlone at .737
Golden Valley: #5 Feather River at .818
Orange Empire: #1 Orange Coast at .825
Pacific Coast Athletic: unranked San Diego Mesa at .639
South Coast North: #9 Chaffey at .737
South Coast South: #3 El Camino at .833
Western State East: unranked Glendale at .556
Western State North: unranked Santa Barbara CC at .643
Western State South: unranked LA Mission at .529
CCCSIA 2019 Baseball Poll-March 12-Ranking #1
1. Orange Coast (14)
2. San Joaquin Delta
3. El Camino
4. Sierra (2)
5. Feather River
6. Riverside City
8. Cosumnes River
11. Irvine Valley
13. Sacramento City
14. Santa Rosa JC
16. Golden West
17. Santa Ana
19. Pasadena City
(First place votes in parentheses)
Others receiving votes: Cuesta 42, Fresno City 41, Palomar 38, Butte 36, College of San Mateo 35, Cerro Coso 11, LA Mission 8, San Diego Mesa 8, Canada 6, LA Harbor 5, Skyline 3, Folsom Lake 2, College of the Sequoias 1